A potentially record-breaking banner 200 kilometers long will be unfurled in a ceremony in Bolivia Saturday as part of the Days of the Sea celebrations commemorating the 2013 maritime lawsuit.
To the tune of the Naval March, the flag will be raised in the city of Caracollo, where an estimated 100,000 Bolivians will participate in the day's events and listen as President Evo Morales addresses the nation.
The ceremony, scheduled for 8a.m. to 2p.m., will involve demonstrations by the Navy. As the event draws to a close, the banner will be measured and certified by Guinness World Records and the Military Geographical Institute (IGM) while videographers document the historic moment.
Morales says the banner will serve a dual purpose: to break the world record for the longest banner and to make a statement the International Court of Justice (ICJ) can't overlook.
Five years ago, Bolivians lodged a legal complaint with the ICJ against Chile in order to negotiate equal access to maritime ports, citing 135 years of conflict over the 400 kilometers of Pacific coastline.
"We are convinced that the world is already with us: presidents support this demand, not to mention the social movements of Latin America," Morales told television network ATB. "We are surprised, we do not calculate, I want to thank the Bolivian people because the sea unites us all."
In September 2015, the ICJ agrered to respond to Bolivia's request, based on article 31 of the Pact of Bogota. The two nations will meet to evaluate the proposal during an oral discussion in The Hague March 19 to 28.
Minister of Communication Gisela Lopez praised the event, saying it exemplifies not only Bolivia's skill in creating the enormous 80-ton flag, but also in bringing awareness to the "Bolivian maritime cause."
Bolivia's demand is covered by the Charaña Agreement signed at Charaña railway station in Bolivia on February 8, 1975, by generals Hugo Banzer and Augusto Pinochet to end diplomatic hostilities.